Bernhard Carl "Bert" Trautmann OBE (born 22 October 1923) was a legendary German goalkeeper who didn’t let a little thing like a broken neck stop him from winning an FA Cup Final.
Like most Manchester City greats, Trautmann made his name playing in a prisoner of war camp. The towering custodian had been captured during Germany’s resounding 4-1 defeat in the Second World War.
After being rejected by Bristol City, Trautmann worked his way up from amateur side St Helens to earn a chance at Manchester City. However, his signature met with fierce protests as 20,000 angry northern men demonstrated against the arrival of a German. They all had hats.
Trautmann makes his name (Trautmann)Edit
Trautmann soon developed a fearsome reputation as a penalty king, a fearless shot-stopper and an angry man.
During his second game for City against Sunderland, Trautmann saved a penalty only for the referee to order a retake. Bert roared in anger and hoofed the ball out of the ground before saving the second kick and again throwing the ball into the car park. Sunderland scored from the resulting throw-in.
Trautmann nearly dies, wins FA CupEdit
Trautmann’s finest hour came in the 1956 FA Cup Final, which Manchester City won 3-1 against Birmingham City.
The German nutcase flung himself bravely at Peter Murphy’s feet and the striker responded by booting him firmly in the neck.
In those days a goal would often stand even if the ‘keeper was kicked into the net with the ball. Goalkeepers weren’t really seen as human beings and were often fed from a bowl in the dressing room while the other players had cups of tea.
As substitutes still hadn’t been invented, Trautmann was forced to play on, even though his neck was broken and his head was barely attached to his body.
Despite the injury being life-threatening, Bert got up to make some more sensational saves, even deflecting a powerful strike away with his damaged neck.
End of careerEdit
After a silly old testimonial with people like Jimmy Armfield, Trautmann played for Wellington Town, who promised him £50 per match (a fee that equates to £100,000,000 in modern money). He was to play just two games for the pointless little club.